Friday, 31 July 2009

Bit Of A Break

I'm off to the cottage for a week. There is no internet. I may sneak into town and hop on a computer at the library, but most likely I won't return to the blog until after I get back August 9th. I am however going to try to read two articles of literary theory and the following four novels:
-The Manticore by Robertson Davies
-World of Wonders by Robertson Davies
-Neuromancer by William Gibson
-The Handmaid's Tale by Margret Atwood

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Mad Men

This is a time period that I both love and hate - the early 1960's. I love it because it seems to just ooze class but hate it because it seems stifling and horribly sexist. It seems to be an era that often gets glorified. One of my main problems with Porter Airlines is that it seems be trying to channel a 1960's business airline feel, great for the business man but are women again just stewardesses? I want to watch the TV drama Mad Man because not only does it look smart, sexy and intriguing, it also has been getting a lot of awards and critical acclaim. However, I haven't gotten around to it because I don't have time and it keeps reminding me of this clip on Family guy. Peter is watching an old work training video about women in the workplace "Remember, nothing says 'good job' like a firm, open-palm slap on the behind." Putting my gender equality ideals on the back burner, I did enjoy making myself into a 'Mad Men' character, though as you may notice, I put myself in a boardroom making a presentation (apparently about underwear.) Make your own.


I have never played Spin the Bottle.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Douche Factor

The concept of 'The Douche', short for 'Douchebag' has come up previously in Always Standing. It seems that this type of guy isn't going anywhere anytime soon and summer is definitely their season. Dave has developed a very amusing Douche Factor which is calculated by taking the number of windows (including sunroof) that are open in a guys car (who is of course blasting annoying music) and subtracting the number of people in the vehicle. Basically this means that you should really only have as many windows open as you have people driving with you, if you are alone you should only have your drivers side window down. If a guy driving alone has all four windows open that would give him a Douche Factor: 3. Ottawa Erin and I think this is a hilarious system and want to expand on it to play as a bar game. I will keep you posted as the rules develop, meanwhile here is a good video on the subject by Barats And Bereta.

Friday, 24 July 2009


Last night I had a presentation in my seminar class. I realise as I get older that I like public speaking less and less. I used to love giving presentations and enjoyed the high of excitement I got right beforehand, similar to that experienced when acting right before going on stage. However, now I almost dread it because in my program at university we don't give many presentations so I am not very good at them. There are other majors where they are a big part of all the courses but with English you don't ever do any until fourth year, so I have fallen out of practice. I think the one last night went well, I won't know for sure until Tuesday when I get the mark back. It, and the 3 other presentations last night, focused on the concept of 'the grotesque' in art and literature. It isn't a really difficult theory to understand but like all theory they seem to make it way more complicated than needed. I won't get into the whole thing as it has to do with 'uncanny' and 'sublime' and other such annoying theory concepts and they are all terms that don't truly have agreed upon definitions. One of the elements of the grotesque, though arguably not a necessary aspect, is the combination of natural figures into an unnatural representation. It is speculated that the reason the bat is thought of as being a frightening creature, despite being rather harmless, is because it resembles both a bird and a mouse, which makes us uncomfortable. Theorists then go on to try to explain why we feel scared or uncomfortable with it, but I won't get into that right now. The whole concept totally hit home for me when I was reading a funny internet article and ran across the following picture. It completely connects with the grotesque and absolutely terrifies me. I can barely look at it! Don't really know why I'm putting it on my blog where I will be confronted with it regularly before it falls of the main page, but I think my reaction to it was really interesting. It makes me very uncomfortable.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Shirt or Dress?

I am really tempted to make this a link on the right because, like FML, everytime I visit I vote on everything and love it. However, I still haven't made it part of my everyday list of sites to check. Check it out and see if it gets added to yours, Shirt or Dress? which is super cute, funny, and fun. It has a voting feature which I discussed with Steph (For blogs - See Right) last night; Steph and I would enjoy having a feature like that on our blogs but fear that there won't be many responses, which like dwindling comments is always sad for a blogger. Though Steph has Google Analytics now, which she has told me about but I haven't had a chance to actually see. Heather (For blog - See Right) has it too. So they know that tons of people are visiting their sites, and how they get there, what they search in Google before hand, whether they come from my blog, how long they stay, etc. Pretty crazy stuff, I'm so tempted to get it for Always Standing but it scares me at the same time. Wow, this post is really all over the board, you can tell I haven't taken the ADD meds yet this morning.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Academic Drinking Game

I have noticed in my English classes that people use the same annoying starter for their comments. I think this stems from the fact that we are no longer answering simple questions. We still have to raise our hands for the most part because the classes are so big but usually we are providing some idea or insight about the text being studied and not just answering a simple question with a short or one word response. Now, in the higher levels of university, the questions are very open and vague "Any ideas on..." or "What do you think about..." Obviously, a lot of answers to that type of question start with "I think..." However, most of the time students, and sometimes even the professor, use "It is interesting that..." There are a few variations; "I find it interesting...." "Interestingly...." "An interesting thing about...." the differences, as you can see, are subtle. It isn't a bad way to start a sentence where the person is then going to point out some connection, deeper meaning, idea, etc. but it has become so repetitive in my classes that it now often bothers me. I no longer use it, I just say my point, sometimes saying "I agree...." or "I think...." first but not usually. The 'interesting' thing can be used as a drinking game. Though probably a bad idea to drink in class, but a sip every time someone used the word would be pretty fun and get you drunk pretty quickly!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

One A Year

Music is not an important part of my life. I love it but rarely listen to it, have none on my computer, and don't really own any CD's or music-listening-to-devices. However, this is not the case for my friends, they all love music, Jerrica especially. I have made a deal with her that I will go to one concert a year. They are always so expensive and unless I am truly in love with whoever is playing than I would rarely pick them as something to do. Last year we went to Foo Fighters and on Friday we saw Green Day. These are not the only concerts I have ever seen, I have actually been to quite a few of varying artists. However, as they were both at Scotia-Bank Place and fairly close together in time it is pretty easy to compare the two. First off, both were amazing concerts! However, I was surprised at how few Green Day songs I knew. I think the Foo Fighters only played about 2 or 3 that I didn't know all the words to but well over half of Green Day's set was completely new to me. This is strange because not only has Green Day been around for almost 10 years longer but also my brother owned a bunch of their CD's and I remember the band being played a lot when I was younger. Another thing, it is more relaxing to sit in seats like at Foo Fighters but the experience of the pit is so amazing it is hard to say I missed being in the stands. Both of those points being said, Green Day put on a better concert, connected better with fans, had wicked pyrotechnics, I really enjoy General Admission, and I would say as a whole it was a better concert. I now totally trust Jerrica's judgement on who to go see, though still only want to go to one a year or so.

Friday, 17 July 2009

So Many Verses

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky!
When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
---Jane Taylor (1793-1824)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A True Quote

If a way to be better there be, it lies in taking a full look at the worst.
-Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Monday, 13 July 2009

No Loyalty

This past weekend I rented a car. I have been renting cars every now and then since I was about 20. When you are under 25 they really don't want to rent to you and you often can't even find a place that will, or you have to pay a premium, or have your own insurance. (I never had my own insurance.) I always picked the cheapest place with the lowest Under-25 cost, which was Hertz. They were great, usually upgraded the vehicle, were super friendly, they have a dealership downtown which is convenient. However, now I'm 25. I always thought that I would be loyal to Hertz since they were always so good to me when I was younger. I'm not. I am a slave to the dollar and whore for the cheapest price. I rented this weekend from Discount. It was significantly cheaper then the other places. I was hesitant to book online so called, but when I called I just got a general central call centre anyway so it didn't make a difference. I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't even get to interact with the Ottawa dealership until the morning I went to get the car when I called them to come pick me up. That is also a great bonus that a lot of places are doing, free pick-up and drop-off service, which totally beats taking the bus back and forth. They also upgraded me for free to a brand new, off the lot yesterday Corolla, when I was supposed to have a tiny cheap economy car. As most people know, I love to drive and miss it so much. Also my old car, The Toy, was a purple Corolla. I think I will be sticking with Discount in the future, obviously I will check to be sure that they are still the most affordable, but I was really happy with the service. So much for loyalty.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

And It Was Beautiful

Erin and Matt - July 11th, 2009

The whole Anne Visit and Erin Wedding Weekend Extravaganza! was incredible. I had an amazing time, every packed second was a blast. Seeing Anne and Alberta Erin, my 'chill' friends as I call them, was awesome beyond words, I miss those girls so much. Not only as my first 'Peer Wedding' but also as a kick-ass event, Erin and Matt's wedding was so beautiful and so much fun. Also what a perfect couple!! It is not only a Happily Ever After story but a Happily Ever Before & Ever More story, my heart fills to know them as a couple.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Born For This

I found out last night that I was born to attend The Bachelorette, not as the bride of course. Last night was Alberta's Erin's 'Last Fling Before The Ring' or as our shirts said, due to an error at the printers, 'Last Swing Before The Ring'. I am currently midway through the Anne Visit and Erin Wedding Weekend Extravaganza! I thought it would be three nights of drinking with my MComm Friend's birthday tonight and the wedding tomorrow but last night was a little much so I'm going to have to tone it down. Last night was wicked though, my first bachelorette and I must say I love them. It is always great to go out with a group of girls and there were 10 of us. We started the evening at The Blue Cactus downtown, great drinks and a bit of food. Everyone looked very pretty and dressed up. Martini's and blender drinks, all 'cactus sized', and a couple of rounds of 'Never Have I Ever' which I love to play but any other situation would never be done out at a bar/restaurant. Then the limo came and it was pretty awesome, Lincoln Navigator stretch, which the geographers lamented was not so great for the environment. The adorable driver Joseph told us he drove Madonna once in it and it was so massive, there was tons of room for the 10 of us. Big surprise is the driver had also brought a convertible Rolls Royce for Erin and a friend to drive around in for a bit. We had a little limo tour and drank some G&T's. When Erin joined us a bit later the night made the anticipated turn from classy to trashy. We whipped out the matching pink shirts and started cutting them up Flashdance style, Erin got a glowing heart saying Bride To Be, I think at one point there was even Spock ears and a penis veil but those fell by the wayside by the time we made it into the club, Berrymore's: 90's Night. As promised Anne totally 'brought the party' pulling out new dance moves like 'The Fax Machine' and the very awesome 'Typewriter.' Everyone, predominantly male, wanted to be dancing with us! By the end of the night I was sweating up a storm and not even caring. I am very happy to just dance the night away. Each girls t-shirt had a dare printed on it for Erin to do, mine was the hardest! 'Get a cops autograph' and I really didn't think she was going to be able to do it, though kept saying, 'I can just get arrested at the end of the night after we leave the club.' We did find one, on the highway and we pulled over to see if he would sign her shirt. I leaned out the window and we got it done!! For all the How I Met Your Mother fans out there, we were of course Woo Girls for the evening, but that is alright with me, I'm a Woo Girl most evenings out! The night ended with a much needed face wash and glass of water. Though it terrifies me when friends get married, I can't wait for my next one!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


This summer we seem to run across more bugs in Die Höhle than usual. This is what I get for living in a basement. The latest annoyance seems to be earwigs, which I have always hated. However, for the first time the other day I came upon the bug to end all bugs - The Silverfish. I have never seen anything like it, first off it was massive, almost the length of my finger. On top of its size, it then seemed to contain the worst aspects of every other bug, millipede like legs, massive antenna, spider caricaturists, pinchers. The picture to the right does not do this thing justice, it was just awful. I'm a little endeared to it because I read about its mating ritual online. The reproduction of silverfish is preceded by a ritual involving three phases, which may last over half an hour. In the first phase, the male and female stand face to face, their trembling antennae touching, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase the male and female stand side by side and head-to-tail, with the male vibrating his tail against the female and then they mate. How cute is that? Still this bug is super scary looking. We have asked the landlord what to do about it since we keep the apartment decently clean, there should be no reason for bugs.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Sci Fi Course

I had my first Science Fiction class today. This is a course that I have been trying to take for the last four years. It is sometimes not offered and when it is it never fit in my schedule. Finally I was able to take it compressed this summer (July-Aug Semester). I am so excited, the reading list is incredible and will be so much fun. The class is really varied too, it has people from all disciplines including 3 or 4 engineers. The prof is a former T.A. of mine who should be pretty good. When I showed up in class there was already a group of people I knew from my previous summer course so we all started talking. Then my MComm Friend who was thinking about taking it showed up which was super exciting because I love taking classes with her. Also, we are reading Science Fiction novels and short stories. This course is going to rock!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Actual God

I heard this song in the car this weekend with Heather on the way back from her cottage. See the lyrics below or watch the music video:
"Laughing With"
by Regina Spektor
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor
No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet
No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken
No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’ve lost all they’ve got
And they don’t know what for

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Canadian God

From Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies...Members of a amateur theatre company are stressing, worrying, and whining the night before a big performance and the director who has been living in New York for the past 10 years is confused at what that are doing, the response is... "They are sacrificing to our Canadian God. We all believe that if we fret and abuse ourselves sufficiently, Providence will take pity and smile upon anything we attempt. A light heart, or a consciousness of desert, attracts ill luck. You have been away from your native land too long. You have forgotten our folkways. Listen to that gang over there; they are scanning the heavens and hoping aloud that it won't rain tomorrow. That is to placate at the Mean Old Man in the Sky, and persuade him to be kind to us. We are devil-worshippers, we Canadians, half in love with easeful Death. We flog ourselves endlessly, as a kind of spiritual purification."